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This Halloween close reading inference mystery is a fun way to engage your students and challenge them to look for text evidence, infer information, and read more closely. The resource includes everything you need to facilitate the activity in your classroom.

The Henderson’s are hosting a Halloween Fright Night Party for which everyone in attendance must hide their identity with a costume. As a pre-party game, the partygoers drop hints for what costumes they will be wearing using puns and wordplay in a group chat. These clues become all the more important when the house is toilet papered. Your students need to find out who did it.

This works well around Halloween; however, it can also be used at any point in the year.

Included in your purchase:

  • A teacher presentation that guides the mystery with the backstory, evidence, the culprit reveal, and detailed explanations of the evidence for each of the suspects.
  • A classroom poster that reads “Who toilet papered the house?” that you can put up on the door to hook students into the activity.
  • An original narrative backstory that sets up and initiates the mystery.
  • A message board with plenty of puns and word-play that require students to close read and use their inference skills.
  • A graphic organizer where students can keep track of their findings.
  • A detailed teacher answer key in print format and within the presentation slideshow.

How it works:

  • Start by putting up the poster on your door to build anticipation when students enter the room. When students enter, put them in small groups, so they can work together to try to solve the mystery.
  • Use the presentation slides to guide you through each element of the lesson. The slides will help you introduce the story and evidence to each of the groups.
  • Hand out all the evidence to students and allow them time to make their predictions and inferences and solve the mystery.
  • Once each group has made their final prediction, use the presentation slides to reveal which suspects are guilty and go through the evidence for each one.

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